• Tuesday Morning News

    The latest from CES, besides CES using Apple's iBeacon technology as a mini-game for attendees to collect badges for visiting certain locations, is product news from Griffin. The iOS and Mac accessory maker has a few new products up it sleeve, including a number of new audio-related accessories and a Bluetooth version of the PowerMate, a controller knob that can be remapped to adjust almost anything on your Mac.

    Speaking of CES, LaCie are doing some interesting stuff. On the one hand, one of their latest products is a US $500 "Christofle Sphère" which only comes with 1TB of storage, and on the other hand, the Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 is the most impressive external hard drive I've ever seen. With transfer speeds of up to 1.4GB/s for reads and 1.1GB/s for writes, it's a speed demon. Anandtech's mini-review of the box says this: "There's no pricing available at this point, but with 1TB of PCIe storage in an aluminium chassis I wouldn't expect it to be cheap."

    For the first time since the introduction of the iTunes Store, digital music sales have dropped. Executives are quick to blame streaming for this one: with the rise of Spotify, Pandora, and Rdio as options for consumers to listen to music without having to occupy space on their hard drive or actually purchase music on a track-by-track basis, it's no wonder that sales are down.

    Re/code had the opportunity to chat with Fitbit CEO James Park to see why turning the iPhone 5S into a basic activity tracker doesn't hurt Fitbit. When asked if the Fitbit app update would cannibalise sales of their own products, Park answered: "for us it’s about expanding the market. In our research, we’ve found — even with the $59 Fitbit Zip — consumers aren’t sure whether they want to take that step into buying a dedicated device for tracking. So the app is an introductory thing."

    Eurogamer has a profile of Aspyr, the video game publisher that primarily ports titles from PC to the Mac. Aspyr works closely with other publishers such as Activision and 2K Games to ensure updates for top-tier games are released on the same day and date as their PC counterparts, something that already happens with Borderlands 2 and Civilization 5. Even though a number of Mac games are now available with Steam, sometimes there's just no incentive for developers to build in Steam's lengthy list of features in their games.

    Sven Fechner has written about cleaning up your 1Password library. If you're like me and store the vast majority of your passwords within the app, then there will likely be stuff that you haven't touched in years. 1Password's build-in security audit can be OK for seeing passwords that need updating, but creating your own smart folders based on a set of rules is the best way to make sure you get every old password.

    What's the difference between a cheap USB to Ethernet adapter and the real thing? One blogger has taken one apart and compared the insides to see what the difference between a $3 eBay job and the official $29 Apple part — and as his findings show, there's not much separating the two.

    Collis Ta'eed has posted a message on Mac AppStorm about the AppStorm network shutting down. AppStorm never published news or rumours, but they did do particularly well at reviews of iOS and Mac apps, and it'll be sad to see them go.

    In the battle for iOS 7 controller supremacy, Steelseries has unveiled their first contender to enter the arena: the Stratus uses Bluetooth to connect to iOS devices, for one, meaning that it can be a separate unit instead of a device-encompassing shell like MOGA's PowerAce or Logitech's PowerShell. There may yet be hope for iOS 7 game controllers, after all.

    If you ask Siri about whether she's the artificial intelligence from the movie "Her", she'll respond with a number of snarky answers. Amusing.
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